Thread: Men wearing pour femme
On a lazy Sunday afternoon I was cleaning my jar of samples and found something I tried a while go and forgot. Without opening it, I looked up my notes - pretty high rating, must be good. Curious, I opened the vial and smelled it - hm-m-m, delicious! Juicy fruit, green peppers, subtle sour notes... I put half a vial on my shirt and went for a little jog in the park. Two hours later and plenty of delicious whiffs and deep sniffs I am very tempted to buy a bottle of this niche designer frag just to keep smelling it. Trouble is - this is an EDP for women. As a 30-something professional male this not the kind of thing I've done before...
I realize all well that the notion of male/female fragrances is mostly a marketing trick in order to satisfy men's machismo. Most progressive perfumers view their creations as unisex. What concerns me is that not everyone understands it.
Fellows, is there anyone else out there contemplating the same idea? Do any of you wear women frags? How do people around you react? Do office coworkers freak out or give you compliments? I would be most interested in hearing your experience.
P.S. Yes, I could just wear it at home, but that kind of misses the point, doesn't it?
P.P.S. There was an old threat on BN on this subject a year or so ago, but it was mostly an intellectual discussion and not so much an actual experience sharing, if I'm not mistaken.
Sounds like you had a fun Sunday
It really depends on what womens fragrance you pick. My own attitude is that if my nose likes it, and I think it suits me, I will try it. I use Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma in the office quite a lot. It is marketed as a female scent, but I find it a beautifully balance product, and I get nothing but compliments. The only feminine phase is the opening, which is quite floral. By the time I get to the office, it is in its stride, and I feel wonderful.
Trust your judgement and give it a go
Last edited by Bartlebooth; 18th May 2009 at 01:03 AM.
Last edited by surreality; 18th May 2009 at 01:13 AM.
Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant
I wear any perfume I like...and I mean ANY, regardless of gender.
Having worn certain women's fragrances for over twenty five years now, the trick--if you're too self-conscious about how you may be perceived wearing fragrances marketed to women--is to go reasonably light on application and leave the house about a hour or two after spraying when the top notes have faded and/or melded with the middle notes and the base notes have begun to assert themselves. Using this method of application, very few women's fragrances prove too "feminine" to wear. Of course, if you remain too self-conscious about the wearing of such fragrances, you might as well carry a sign around your neck advertising the fact. Practical application considerations aside, how you wear anything matters as much as what you were. Self-confidence, independence of mind, and the unabashed conviction of one's considered thoughts as much as clothes and fragrance maketh the man.
Last edited by scentemental; 18th May 2009 at 07:32 PM.
I wear any scent that catches my fancy, though I do tend to avoid some of the really "feminine" ones (i. e. very sweet florals) at work.
Generally, people either say nothing at all, or their remarks are positive. No one has ever suggested to me that I was wearing a women's perfume or anything like it. Of course, I can't vouch for what they may have been thinking...
Occasionally, if people ask me what I'm wearing, I may tell them it's a scent usually marketed to women, especially if the name contains "pour elle," "pour femme," or something similar. Even then, it doesn't seem to make an awkward impression. I generally find that people who are curious or knowledgeable about perfumes tend to take this mild "gender-bending" (if that's really what it is) in their stride.
The other thing that may influence the interactions is my general demeanor and attitude. I think I come across as a "regular guy" type, and I probably give the impression that I'm my own man — that my actions are not usually subject to the passing opinions of others. That may make quite a difference; I think if there are people who get negative feedback on this kind of thing it may be that they project a certain air of insecurity, and that this may be what makes them subject to a different kind of reaction.
I guess my bottom line would be: Wear what you like, but be confident with your choice and comfortable wearing it.
Last edited by JaimeB; 18th May 2009 at 02:53 AM.
Yr good bud,
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Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.
My friends, all of whom I've conscripted into my "How does this smell?" club, tell me Mitsouko is great after I've let it dry for an hour. They think it is quite masculine. Which means, of course, that I then have to tell them it is a 90 year old women's perfume. They find this amusing and not a big shocker.
Today, for fun, I lightly layered Mitsouko and PdN New York and went to my morning hangout at Starbucks. The combo was well received. The New York balanced the the Mitsouko at the beginning with a little more assertiveness, but the Mitsouko gave the New York a lot more heart. After a two hour, the two were an old married couple. What the heck, they share a lot of the same genes.
I liked the balance, but I hope this wasn't a travesty. Any opinions will be received with humility.
Last edited by PikakiLei; 18th May 2009 at 03:43 AM.
I have only one at the moment that I wear. I find Balmain de Balmain to be a nice chypre. I don't think you should be boxed in by any ideas other than if it smells right on you.
One spray at the shirt line allows you to appreciate a "woman's" frag without everyone else experiencing it in the same way, which you obviously don't want to happen. I like Escada Collection most, a sweet tobacco and cola, but there are others I like in my rotation, mostly orientals.
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Yup, covered this topic many times before on BN. before. After 5 months into being a proper perfumisto, I can say safely that my collection is now majority pour-femme; and they're the ones I love best. The only pour homme kind of frag that I really really like is Dior Homme (my designated "first date with a hot chick" frag).
But I've gone on dates or dancing wearing pour-femmes such as Coco and Prada IdI (two 5-star "pour femme" frags in my own rating system).
And as I said repeatedly before in another thread: I don't care what gender "they" say my fragrance is. I just want to wear it - not f--k it!
Yup to what scentemental and others have said. Easy on the trigger with any fragrance until you understand it. I'd only add that I don't think it occurs to people that I'm wearing a "women's perfume" when I wear stuff marketed to women. The feminines I wear all have something green or animalic to them. Sweet musk and sparkly aldehydes don't appeal to me in perfumes marketed to either gender. Also, I think people read your scent in the context of your dress and your personality. Okay, this has all been said before but it's an important topic.
I personally don't wear any that say pour femme, but I know that I'm probably in the minority. IMO there are so many great fragrances pour homme out there that I have yet to experience. Wear what makes you feel most comfortable.
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Indult Tihota & Ręve en Cuir
Chant d'Aromes extrait
Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)
Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
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Hednic the test is of course for a friend to bring a few sample strips and see which ones you'd like and would wear. You may be surprised. I've fooled female coworkers into thinking something is masculine just because I went to a dept. store and put it on my wrist and they think I'd only try on the pour hommes. The scent? Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT.
My impression when I tried it on was to smile, then thinking "it's girly - it makes me think of the color pink - smell some more.. you know what, it will smell great on me - ladies and gents we have a Buy!"
Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant
I wear what I like anywhere - I don't care if it is marketed to women, men or both. I choose not to limit my enjoyment/exploration of fragrances based on marketing, stereotypes, the bottle says "woman/femme" on it, afraid of what others may think, etc. IMO, life is way too short to worry about or get hung up on such things. I have found MANY wonderful fragrances with this approach - and I will continue to do so.
But to each his own.........
Last edited by petruccijc; 18th May 2009 at 04:07 PM.
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I doubt the most people wouldn't know - I know that I can tell, and most women have better noses than me.
I'm curious - how come no one has so far mentioned raiding their wives' or girlfriend's or sisters' perfume collections? It would seem far more economical than to actually go and buy the scents themselves.
Last edited by Renato; 18th May 2009 at 03:38 PM.
I wear and have worn fragrances marketed for women. As many others have said on this thread, wear what you like. If you enjoy it, there shouldn't be a problem.
Believe me, in the past I've had the fear of somebody smelling my sotd and recognizing it as a woman's fragrance then pointing and laughing/teasing me. It never happened though. The more I wore the fragrance, the more confident I felt in it.
So my advice is, wear it in public for short periods of time and in small amounts (1-2 spritzes max) in the beginning to build up your confidence in wearing the scent. Then when you're completely confident, give yourself 4-6 spritzes and let it all hang out!
Nuits de Noho by Bond no.9 is the scent that I was hesitant to wear, now it's one of my favorite club scents!
My wife is often surprised when after asking me about a new scent I'm wearing or have bought and she's wrist testing it and I add pour homme/elle to the name. She'll sometimes say I wouldn't have guessed that was for men or women.
The one thing we do agree on is it is more economical for only one of us to be addicted. Thankfully my wife enjoys the secondhand fumes.
As for the eternal dilemma of a man wearing a pour femme scent. I echo the advice of many before me.
It depends on the man and the sense of style and confidence he projects.
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For myself, I don't live with my gf, so day-to-day raiding isn't practical; although weekends are a possibility. But my taste is better than hers ! - or different enough that there's no swapping. Opium is a good example of this, which I love, and she loathes; she owns some Chanel 5, which frankly doesn't do it for me.
Also, most of what she owns I bought for her - Cheap and Chic; L'Interdit; Poeme; Zen; and apart from the Zen I probably wouldn't wear any of them (I'm quite looking forward to the promised Zen Men later this year) - although they smell great on her, particularly the Poeme and the Zen - and she gets lots of compliments on the Poeme. In fact, these two are now my rotational scent gifts to her - Poeme in advance of winter, and Zen in advance of summer.
Here's an 'exception' to illustrate the point - I have been known to wear Clinique's Aromatics Elixir - a scent which screams 'old lady'. Honestly, every time I've smelt this on a woman, I have (in 90% of cases) thought the woman is too young to wear Aromatics (or the fragrance is too old for her). Really, it's the sort of scent that your seventy year old grandmother wears when you take her out to lunch. So, I'd never want my gf to wear it. However, I think it smells pretty good on me - it's a fragrance that has everything happening - it's a green, woody, floral, chypre - and has great longevity and sillage.
On the other hand, she has been known to use my moisturiser, my shower gel, my sorbolene cake, my sorbolene lotion, my sunscreen ...
I just bought Acqua di Parma Profumo. It's marketed towards women but it works for men too. I also own D&G Light Blue for women. Now that's one that should be marketed for men.
Muscs Kublai Khan is one of those scents I keep seeing mentioned here, but have never come across. Hopefully I'll come across it on my next overseas vacation, so that I can relate.
Last edited by Renato; 19th May 2009 at 12:47 AM.
Aromatic Elixir is often said to be very similar to the men's Aramis 900. I wonder if that may have a bearing on your perception of the scent?
If your girlfriend likes Cheap and Chic, keep an eye out for L'Eau de Cheap and Chic. Some years back, the Shavers Shop was clearing out a stack of 25ml bottles of L'Eau de Cheap and Chic at $15 each (why they had them in the first place, I have no idea). I bought five or six bottles to use as presents, and everyone who got them thought they were fabulous - the only complaint being that they used up the 25ml bottles in next to no time.
All fragrances are unisex
Any real man isn't going to give a crap about whether the fragrance is "For Men" or "Pour Femme" - if it smells good, wear it. Don't worry about whether it's "manly" or not to wear a "Pour Femme" frag. It's not the fragrance who makes the man - it's the person wearing it. If you come across as cool and confident and comfortable with who you are, no one is going to think of you as a wuss for wearing Shalimar. A real man could give a rat's ass.
As for ladies frags I like, I'll sometimes wear my wife's Mitsouko (the best fragrance ever made, masculine or feminine), Eau de Courreges, and Diorella. Chanel #19 isn't bad either, though I think it smells better on a woman.
I'm wearing Black Orchid right now. Smells pretty damn good to me. As people have said before, it's just a matter of confidence. I'd be more than happy to wear this out clubbing, it would stand out from the clouds of D&G and Armani scents.
Nasomatto - Silver Musk
Prada - Prada Man/Amber Pour Homme
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I want to thank everyone for your thoughts, experiences and opinions - you gave me a good assurance to wear what I enjoy, not what's written on the bottle. Needless to say, the sample I mentioned is already out, I have ordered the scent and am eagerly awaiting the delivery!
Yeah people should feel free to wear whatever they want. But I wouldn't personally wear a 'pour femme' perfume that is solely targeted for women. The reasons being, I don't want to smell like a lady or be wearing something that my mother/sister would/could wear. I also wouldn't want to attract the attention of some guy thinking a nice scented lady is around when it is in fact me wearing it
I can appreciate these scents when women wear them as they do smell nice, but as for wearing them myself, no thanks. There are plenty of 'pour homme' fragrances out there to keep me happy.
I'm the paragon of masculinity that when I wear any pour-femme perfumes, even the most girly florally perfumes like Beyond Paradise smells masculine on me.
Xilonic: What is the "pour femme" in question?
For me, the conversation often gets almost uncomfortable if the issue of male scents come up in a discussion with other males - I can see their minds racing away with "wtf is this about - this is girl's stuff - this is odd" or the like, from their hesitant responses.
Last edited by Renato; 19th May 2009 at 11:05 PM.
Yes and no. It's an ad hoc thing. Some women's frags (Obsession Night for Women for instance) just about any guy could pull off. Others, some over-the-top florals, probably not. To me, it's a question of 'how girly is it?' Some women's perfumes do inhabit an exclusively feminine domain in my view, others not so much.
I thoroughly enjoy Blue Ralph Lauren and Emporio Armani She both so good and a little feminine but I wear them with confidence and don't really care what people think. I wear fragrance for myself and for my own indulgence. Strangely no one ever compliments me on my scent be it feminine or masculine so I just say hey, I wear whatever. Life is too short to follow the norms. Just do you. Be authentic. The world worships the original
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